Are You Zoned Out of Workplace Health And Safety?
Difficult to imagine that at some point in our day.. we lose focus. Especially when we are committed, dedicated, enthusiastic workers. Always with our minds on the job. Far easier, I imagine to realise that we do zone out of Workplace Health and Safety, though we may never admit it.
Yet – it seems we all disappear now and again, and we may not even feel or know it. Actually for ten minutes in every 60 minutes – we all go – ALPHA..
So what does that actually mean
Well, Your subconscious mind rules you – despite what you may wish to believe… – a lot of the time you are not actually in control.. or aware of what is going on for that matter.
Alpha is that state when, – you know your mate, or your mum, seem to be “off with the fairies”, in “la la land” – or working on “autopilot” – well that is when they are in an Alpha state.
That is when your mind is downloading all that you have taken in – in the last 60 minutes. Remember, our minds can process a lot of information in a second.. so it’s a good thing we filter and download it. Otherwise, we would probably just be bodies present, minds missing…
Alpha lies between Beta (fully conscious, alert) and Theta (deep deep relaxation) .
Alpha occurs when your concentration (HEY YOU – pay attention here!!) wavers and the conscious mind “takes a break”.
Whilst in Alpha – you do not see anything above the eyes or below the knees.. do you recall putting the rake down and going to do something, and ten minutes later you trip over the rake – that’s Alpha!.
Or – when you arrive at your destination and you don’t recall parts of the trip… that’s Alpha.
We experience Alpha for around 10 minutes out of every hour… more if you do a repetitive job (oh so that explains why people who do boring jobs, seem to be “zoned out ” all the time…
In a safety context – in a six man team – that means that one of you is “missing in action” every single hour… no wonder accidents happen.
Whats really going on?
Behaviour then, is really only the tip of the iceberg. Those “silly things” people do is not because they are lazy, stupid, indolent, complacent, careless or stubborn. There are natural reason why these behaviours exist.
Like everything, there is always more going on than at first glance.. so whilst your mind is in Alpha, downloading information, – it may be trying to save you time, by creating a habit, which will in turn affect your own personal risk perception, and whilst you think you are saving time.. at what risk. Read more here about these topics and see how they link together.
Let's go on a "Mind" Hunt.
Acknowledging that people are different, that we all have a different way – and are “zoned out for a while – can give us a better understanding of why accidents happen, and why people do those “silly things’.
This is the foundation upon which change can be built. Opening peoples minds, and allowing them to be receptive to change is our objective…
My first hand experience shows what it is like to be “zoned out” – complacent and not in a place where my mind was completely on the job. (I had plans of a round of golf and some beers the day my accident happened! Read more here.) It also shows the importance of having a good team culture – where people are aware of each others attitudes and actions – so that we can all remain safe.
Talk to me, let me share how I can build my life experiences into your workplace, so everyone “gets’ the consequences of taking for granted how complex and important their jobs are.